Last night (May 23) Neal Schon announced that Journey has filled in their bass and drum slots; the band recently parted ways with founding bassist Ross Valory and longtime drummer Steve Smith.
Randy Jackson, the former American Idol judge, who temporarily replaced Valory and played on 1986’s Raised On Radio album and the subsequent tour, will return to play bass for the band. Schon posted a photo of the two of them during that tour, saying “RJ the Big Dawg is our new Bass player again .”
Schon also announced that Narada Michael Walden, a former member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, will be the band’s new drummer. Walden is also an acclaimed producer; he has produced records for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Steve Winwood, among others.
Schon posted, “Word is out ! Narada Michael Walden is our new Drummer! Multi-talented songwriter Producer / Mahavishnu orchestra! The J Boyz will have a new Strut.”
The new Journey rhythm section comes after Schon and Jonathan Cain fired Smith and Valory in March. Schon and Cain would then accuse Smith and Valory of an “attempted corporate coup d’état.” The lawsuit news was issued via press release on BussinessWire.com. The press release said that Smith and Valory attempted a Board of Director’s takeover at Nightmare Productions, Inc., one of Journey’s corporate entities, and claimed they thought Nightmare Productions had control over the Journey trademark. However, Schon and Cain have the “sole, exclusive, irrevocable right to control the Journey Mark, including the Journey name.”